The Bells of St. Mary's, 1945

Bing Crosby as Father O’Malley and Ingrid Bergman as Sister Benedict pair up to battle for control of the leadership of St. Mary’s parochial school. Using prayer, she fights for a new building. She hopes Mr. Bogardus will donate his building, which is still under construction.

There are plenty of songs in this film, as expected. Bing Crosby croons at times, sharing familiar tunes and some new to me. Even Bergman sings at the piano.

The story of Father O’Malley and Sister Benedict is like a boxing match itself. At times, it seems one of them is ahead, then the other wins a victory. Each taking his or her turn until the end. Even the little boys fight, using two schools of thought. The newer boy is commended by Father O’Malley for his promising techniques. But the “loser” of the fight has turned his cheek as instructed by Sister Benedict. After their talk, Sister Benedict decides to train the boy to box correctly and miss any fists that might come against him again. But she’s also got some fights to attend to. Although she’s devoted to children, she continues through the months with a determined attitude for the building next door.

This film won an Academy Award for Best Sound, Recording. Seven other nominations passed them by, including Best Picture. This was the first time a sequel had been nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. The first Father O’Malley film, Going My Way, won Best Picture a year earlier. Bing Crosby was nominated for Best Actor in both films, but won for Going My Way. This is remarkable because this was the first time an actor had been nominated for playing the same character in two different movies.